That notorious latin windbag and fiery drama queen Cristina Kirchner, President of Argentina, is back in the headlines with yet another “demanding the return of the Falklands” tantrum in a feeble attempt to distract the rest of the world from her administration’s rather dodgy accounting.
The British government’s response has been succinctly robust (even US website Hot Air is impressed) and if any Foreign Office mandarins, after quiet chats with the US State Department have been smoothing out the wrinkles of UN supervised “joint sovereignty” agreements, just to please Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and all the other “usual suspects” in Washington, not a whiff of it has seeped into the UK media.
Good job, too. British blood was spilt driving the Argentinian invasion force off the islands in 1982 and there would be deep public disquiet for any backroom deal that would mean their sacrifice was in vain.
Recently published papers show that the invasion took Margaret Thatcher and her ministers completely by surprise. Initially there was a degree of confusion about what should be done.
‘There was great concern about what could be done about it. Our forces in the area were very scant confined to a small troop of marines and the HMS Endurance.
‘If there was going to be an invasion there was little we could do to stop it. People were sitting round wondering what on Earth one could do about it. Sir Henry Leach came in and listened to what people were saying – then he said he could have a task force on the water by Monday. That transformed the situation
Margaret Thatcher was always impressed by people who offered solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
“She was undoubtedly seeking positive factual data on which to make her own mind up. Could we do it, against all the risks we’d discussed? I said, yes we could and, in my judgment, we should – which was not my business. That was a political matter.
“She was on to that in a flash. ‘Why do you say that?’ I said if we don’t, or if we do it half-heartedly and are not completely successful, we should be living in a different country which counts for very much less [in the world].” It was the turning point, not only of the meeting but of the entire Falklands crisis. As Nott admitted in the same programme, Leach’s intervention “helped our self-confidence in a very difficult situation”, even if it had been typical “Nelsonian gung-ho”.
From that moment she resolved that force would be met with force and her determination never faltered. As The Heritage Foundation suggests Britain’s reaction astonished the world.
Once Argentina invaded, Britain had to respond. What was remarkable was that it responded with force. No one—certainly not the Argentines—believed that Thatcher’s Britain would fight back or that it could do so effectively. They were proven wrong on both counts
What also shocked the world was the fact that Thatcher had public opinion behind her. Media pundits were convinced that casualties and body bags would weaken resolve – that a post WW2 generation would be dismissive of military action…..far from it. It showed once again the value of decisive political action and the power of political will.
Sorry, President Kirchner – you need to perform your tango on someone else’s dance floor…